2 in custody in SkyView Academy chemical device case; Sources say warrant sought for student's home

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. - Two juvenile males were taken into custody in connection with a chemical device that went off in a classroom, causing SkyView Academy to be evacuated Tuesday.

"We have been able to determine this was not accidental and treating this as a criminal investigation," the Douglas County Sheriff's Office wrote in its announcement of the arrests.

The sheriff's office did not say how old the boys are and if they are students of the charter school.

The announcement of the arrest came Tuesday evening as investigators waited outside a home in Douglas County. Sources tell 7NEWS Reporter Marshall Zelinger, the investigators were waiting for a requested warrant related to the case.

"There were four or five officers that approached me and told me that the house is sealed, and asked me what I wanted and told me that I have to leave immediately," said neighbor Jerry Gifford.

Gifford went to check on the family of one of the teen's now in custody, getting to the front door through a side yard. When investigators saw him at the door, they ran up to him from their waiting SUVs.

"It's a very sweet loving family," said Gifford. "He's a very smart kid. You don't have to explain how to do things to him, he's that smart. He's a very intelligent young man."

Zelinger reports that several investigators spent two-and-a-half hours inside the home, after getting a signed search warrant around 5:30 p.m.

Outside the school, classmates told 7NEWS a student had added a chemical to a water bottle to create an explosion. Four students and one teacher were hospitalized after the incident.

The Sheriff's Office described it initially as "some type of chemical device that went off."

"We are not at liberty to discuss the specifics of the device, other than to say the chemical reaction found within the container caused the device to rupture," the sheriff's office later posted online.

After the device went off, 10 patients were evaluated by emergency personnel at the school. Five students and one teacher were treated at the hospital for "chemical type, respiratory type issues" and released, said sheriff's office spokesman Sgt. Ron Hanavan.

Students were initially told to evacuate the school, but were later brought back inside to the gym, where they could stay warm on a chilly day. Parents were notified to pick their children up from there.

"Any decision on potential charges as a result of this incident will be made by the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s office," the Sheriff's Office wrote, adding that the DA was participating in an investigation that includes "forensics, witness interviews and search warrants."

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